Commonwealth Games: England reach semi-finals with win over Uganda | Netball News

Emma Thurston

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England remain unbeaten in Pool B and a 56-35 win over Uganda guarantees they will advance to Saturday’s semi-finals; a Thursday evening meeting with New Zealand should determine whether they finish first or second in the group; England are defending Commonwealth Games champions

Last update: 02/08/22 7:52 p.m.

Nat Metcalf and his England team are qualified for the semi-finals on Saturday

Nat Metcalf and his England team are qualified for the semi-finals on Saturday

England booked their place in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games netball competition after a 56-35 win over Uganda on Tuesday.

Jess Thirlby’s side will finish first or second in Pool B and a duel with world champions New Zealand on Thursday night should decide that, provided the Silver Ferns beat Trinidad and Tobago later on Tuesday.

From the start, England’s defensive pressure all over the pitch helped limit Uganda’s options and, in attack, England worked fast and smart.

The home team worked hard to open a 25-15 halftime lead. A solid third quarter put the game beyond Uganda’s reach and allowed England to hold off the tenacity of the She Cranes in the final.

England’s encounter with New Zealand has a 9pm central first pass on Thursday night

England squad – Commonwealth Games fixtures and results

Friday England 74-22 Trinidad and Tobago
Saturday England 66-41 Malawi
Monday England 71-27 Northern Ireland
Tuesday England 56-35 Uganda
Thursday England v New Zealand
Saturday August 6 Semi final
Sunday August 7 Final

With Uganda’s quick run to goal in the form of Proscovia Peace, England knew they had to force errors further up the pitch to overcome the world’s sixth-ranked side.

Thirlby opted for Geva Mentor’s experience as a goalkeeper to score a straight peace and at her sixth Commonwealth Games, Mentor knew exactly what to do.

England’s midfielders also had their arms on every ball from minute one and as a collective Thirlby’s side fought back from start to finish.

England defenders worked exceptionally hard against Uganda

England defenders worked exceptionally hard against Uganda

Their determination forced Stella Oyella and Jesca Achan to miss a few meals, which England clinically punished.

Captain Nat Metcalf and Jade Clarke quickly found Helen Housby and Eleanor Cardwell and the England shot-stoppers missed just one attempt in the first 15 minutes.

England vs Uganda – Starting Sevens

England Uganda
GS: Eleanor Cardwell GS: Proscovia Peace (C)
AG: Helen Housby AG: Irene Eyaru
WA: Nat Metcalf WA: Stella Oyella
C: Jade Clarke C: Jesca Acan
WD: Stacey Francis-Bayman WD: Sandra Nambirige
General Manager: Layla Guscoth CEO: Joan Nampungu
GK: Mentor Geva GK: Shaffie Nalwanja

With a 13-7 lead, England kept their lineup for the second quarter, as did Uganda.

A couple of England attacking errors gave Uganda the ability to score the quick goals they were looking for and bring the game down to three goals.

Pressure from Layla Guscoth and Stacey Francis-Bayman caused a key turnover, however, which saw England stabilize in the quarter. Mentor added to their work soon after to further settle the proceedings.

An entanglement between Peace and Guscoth arose six minutes before the break; the Ugandan captain landed awkwardly and, after trying to continue, had to leave the field.

Peace was replaced by Mary Cholhok and Uganda’s road in the circle became shaky until the half-time break.

England vs Uganda – Quarter by Quarter Scores

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FT
England 13 12 15 16 56
Uganda seven 8 9 11 35

England’s 10-goal half-time lead meant Uganda changed tack for the third quarter by bringing Shadiah Nassanga into the circle along with Irene Eyaru.

The shorter shooters gave Mentor and Guscoth a different challenge, with Cardwell and Jo Harten deployed in England’s attack.

England took a few minutes to settle in before raising the bar and using the 15-minute run to put the game beyond Uganda’s reach.

Uganda started the final quarter well and went goal for goal with England for much of it, but their discipline eventually let them down while the hosts remained calm and collected.

Uganda now face Northern Ireland and then Malawi in their final Pool B matches, as England prepare to take on New Zealand on Thursday night ahead of the weekend’s semi-finals.

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